Wednesday, January 25, 2006

If You Watched American Idol Last Night...

...you saw the very talented, very beautiful Tyra Schwartz, who had recently dumped her cheating boyfriend.

The show then presented a "hilarious" montage, intended to show that the chances of Tyra finding a new boyfriend at the auditions were slim. To the tune of "It's Raining Men," it was a package showing every teenage boy at the auditions who was too thin, too fat, too short, too tall, whose hair was funny, whose skin was bad, who was too geeky... In short, every boy who didn't fit the notion of what "handsome" is. It was fairly cruel.

It was almost immediately followed by one of those Dove Moisturizer commercials from the "Campaign for Real Beauty." In this case, an overweight woman in her underwear was lovingly photographed. The message? That women are beautiful no matter what they look like.

If you watched that show with your son -- or even your husband or boyfriend -- how do you suppose that made him feel?

I'm not asking you to write any angry letters to anyone. American Idol is a great show, and the Dove campaign is a noble one. I'm simply asking that you be aware of this one-sided media message whenever it appears, and of the impact it might be having on the boys who will someday be men. And what impact is it having on our next generation of women?

7 comments:

Concerned Citizen said...

Waaaal, you might be stretching it a bit this time. A montage of geeky-looking guys can be aired precisely because there WON'T be any serious complaints about it, since everybody in our Great Land knows that it really doesn't matter what men look like. It's nice if they look good, but they can still succeed wildly (and star in giant entertainment vehicles!) looking like big slobby geekazoids.

Whereas, a culture that has to actually build an ad campaign to promote the idea that women have value even if they weigh over 120 pounds, pretty much says it all.

Ellen said...

Amen!

I am really appalled at how many commercials portray men/husbands/boyfriends as clueless idiots.

But let's get back to the real problem: TYRA Schwartz?

I'm sorry. That goes together like feta cheese and M&M's.

gina said...

I have to admit I didn't really didn't pay all that much attention to that bit. Instead, I turned to my sister and asked, "What makes them think she would even be looking for a man? She's going to Hollywood, baby!"

Michael Markowitz said...

Concerned Citizen, the theme of the Dove commercials is that every woman can feel beautiful in her own skin.

When you talk to your son about those guys in those shows, be sure to use the words "big slobby geekazoids." Very empowering.

And kids get a great message from those geekazoids' shows: men are big, dumb idiots who would burn down the house and swallow the car keys if it weren't for the constant intervention of their patient, bright, loving wives. And their single friends are even dumber.

Michael Markowitz said...

Ellen, if I had my way, Tyra's last name would no longer be Schwartz.

Michael Markowitz said...

gina, her biggest problem in Hollywood is going to be keeping that married serviceman from putting his slick moves on her!

And why didn't the gondolier go forward?!

Michael Markowitz said...

Boy, remember that Seinfeld episode where the woman was Two-Face? That was Tyra! Last night, she went from Babe to Fugly!